The big video of the weekend was Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart shoving a fan behind the basket at Texas Tech.  The self-titled “Super-fan” shouted at Smart as the Cowboys were on their way to another defeat in a disappointing season…and many were surprised that these altercations don’t happen more often.  Back when I started covering college athletics–the media had a row of seats courtside.  But in the last 15 years or so, schools have turned those seats into revenue-generators.  And it’s their right to do so…but in doing so it transforms a group of fans who feel entitled not as an observer but as a semi-participant.  The absence of a solid border between competitors and spectators creates quite a bit of gray area…and one where the ticket-buyer often feels they’ve paid for the right to interact with the player.  Should Smart have shown restraint?  Certainly.  But “Super-Fans” need to be a little more super when dealing with kids half their age, too….

Georgetown (15-9, 6-6 Big East) used its fourth straight win to move in position to be in position…Monday’s 83-71 win over Providence avenged a January loss to the Friars thanks to 22 points from D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (22 points and 2-4 from 3 pt range after going 0-16 in his previous four starts).  This puts the Hoyas in prime position for a late-season run:  St. John’s and Seton Hall both have losing conference records…and the Hoyas were in position to beat both Marquette and Xavier.  The season of streaks continues.

Alma Mater Update– and the other shoe drops when?  The Orange (23-0, 10-0 ACC) handcuff Clemson 57-44 to continue the best start in school history.  CJ Fair bounced back from a 2-13 performance against Notre Dame to notch 19 points against the Tigers.  Five of the last eight regular season games are on the road…and unlike the first four ACC road trips (VT, Mia, BC & Wake a combined 10-33 in the league) Pitt, Duke, Virginia, Maryland and Florida State are a combined 38-20).  Extra bleu cheese will be necessary with the wings from here on out.

Maryland (14-11, 6-6 ACC) hears the “ACC” chants again…this time in Charlottesville.  Much more understandable than at Pitt a few weeks ago.  There was a brief window of opportunity against the Cavaliers– after a 9 to 2 run closed the gap to 4 points with a little over a minute left.  Instead of a decent shot Evan Smotrycz misses a 3-pointer with 17 seconds on the shot clock.  Seven UVa points and another missed Smotrycz three later, the ACC chants emerged.  This was a chance to lock down a signature road win…and it slipped away.  Get ready for more “ACC” chants in Durham Saturday.

Cruising the Commonwealth– one team finds ways to win…the other finds ways to lose.  Virginia (20-5, 11-1 ACC) avoided upset at home against Maryland but also put Georgia Tech away on the road with a 27-4 finishing kick…allowing one field goal in the game’s last 14 minutes.  This is a team that does not beat itself (6 turnovers against Maryland and Boston College).  Right now UVa is a #4 seed on ESPN’s Bracketology page.  Virginia Tech (8-15, 1-10 ACC) had multiple times to pull of what would have been a season-redeeming upset of Pitt…but couldn’t make a shot in overtime (0-4) or double OT (0-10) against the Panthers.  It was a nice change of pace from the 20+ point drubbings the Hokies had learned to deal with over the last few weeks. 

George Washington (19-4, 7-2 Atlantic 10)– the Colonials avoided any trap-game complications with Fordham…not only routing the Rams 93-57 but taking a 56-33 halftime lead that made the final 20 minutes mop-up time.  GW geared up for a midweek matchup at VCU by hitting 59% of their shots and coach Mike Lonergan basically slowing things to a halt with four minutes remaining.  Can they beat the Rams in Richmond?  They won the January14th matchup in Foggy Bottom despite turning the ball over 21 times.  But that game saw Kevin Larsen score a career high 22 points–and starting with that night he’s been making 58% of his shots.  Whoever wins remains chasing #12 Saint Louis for the top spot in the A-10.

George Mason (8-15, 1-8 Atlantic 10) FINALLY got its first conference win since joining the league… a 74-68 win over Duquesne that saw Sherrod Wright score 23 points.  They outshot and outrebounded the Dukes…and they get to play them again in March.  After the Patriots’ trip to UMass… four of their last six games are in Fairfax.

Maryland Womens Window– the Terps (19-4, 7-3 ACC) responded to a three game losing streak by winning three straight by 25 points or more.  Brionna Jones’ insertion into the starting lineup alters the rotation a tiny bit and allows Alyssa Thomas to play more minutes on the perimeter.  Alicia DeVaughn has always been an athletic big–so the move doesn’t hurt her at all.  A huge stretch has the team playing four of five away from Comcast… including a Monday night matchup against #3 Duke.  Bet you they’ll still be chanting “ACC” from Saturday.

American (14-9, 10-2 Patriot League)– we knew going unbeaten in the Patriot League was unlikely…but back to back losses?  Including one to Colgate where the Eagles shot over 50% ?  Unfortunately the Raiders made their three’s count (8-15)…outrebounded AU and turned the Eagles over 14 times in a game where they turned American scoring droughts into a double-digit lead that they’d have until the 8:55 mark.  While Lehigh and Lafayette both have under .500 conference records, so did Colgate.

Howard (6-19, 4-6 MEAC) back to back double-digit defeats for the Bison…where the team was held to under 50 points in both games.  Who are they playing, Virginia?  James Daniel scored 25 points and the rest of the team shot 7 for 31.  Who does he think he is, Erick Green?  Thankfully Maryland-Eastern Shore is next on the docket.

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